September 12, 2018
Iran’s first vice-president Es’haq Jahangiri has admitted on Tuesday, September 11 that U.S. sanctions against Iran have been “highly effective.”
Jahangiri also said that Iran is experiencing “a difficult and sensitive situation,” but it has not reached a “deadlock” yet, Iranian Students News Agency ISNA quoted him as saying in a speech in Tehran.
Emphasizing that the sanctions have been highly effective, Jahangiri added, “The U.S. has declared an economic war on us. Meanwhile they are waging a political and media war in order to influence public opinion in Iran.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had also accused the U.S. of waging economic and psychological war against Iran, in a meeting with the Assembly of Experts last week.
Previously, many high-level officials were denying that the sanctions have a big impact on Iran, but the continued devaluation of the national currency and soaring prices have left little to doubt.
President Hassan Rouhani had said at the Iranian Parliament in late August, “Don’t say in your speeches that the country is facing a crisis. We have been harmed and have at times been on the verge of being harmed, but there is no crisis.”
The United States is re-imposing sanctions gradually, after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement signed with Tehran.
Meanwhile close aides of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have attributed Iran’s paralyzing economic crisis to the “poor performance of the Rouhani administration” and “profiteers.”
In early May, reports about the possible withdrawal of the U.S. from the nuclear deal led to a 140% fall in the value of the Iranian currency overnight.
The unprecedented rise in the rate of exchange of U.S. dollar against the rial led to a monthly inflation rate of 5.5% in August according to the Central Bank; a record high in over two decades. The point-to-point inflation rate in Iran is reportedly over 24 percent.
In the meantime, the Iranian parliament’s research center has predicted that Iran’s economic growth rate this year will be minus 2.8% as opposed to 3.7% in the previous year.
Media have been reporting of hoarding and extremely high prices during the past weeks.
A second round of US sanctions that would hit Iran’s oil export and banking system is to start on November 4.
Like economic analysts, some Iranian officials have also admitted that the new round of sanctions would be hard hitting.
Jahangiri in his speech on Tuesday called on the government to behave in a way that would “minimize the pressures exerted on the people.”
The Rouhani administration introduced, or at least examined several “economic packages” to control the market, but none of those policies have proven effective.
U.S. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, has predicted that as the situation of Iranian economy quickly worsens, Iranian officials would enter negotiations with the US soon.
Iranian officials have ruled out negotiations with the United States and Rouhani has claimed that “U.S. officials send messages every day” calling for negotiations with Iran.